elevenplants
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New pics:

The Brandywine hanger...difficult to get a good shot, so much green there is nothing in the background to give much contrast!

[img]https://i701.photobucket.com/albums/ww13/elevenpictures/photo-25.jpg[/img]

Brandywine blooms (and check out that stem circumference Scott!):

[img]https://i701.photobucket.com/albums/ww13/elevenpictures/photo-26.jpg[/img]

The Amish Paste hanger:

[img]https://i701.photobucket.com/albums/ww13/elevenpictures/photo-27.jpg[/img]


The next set of pics will feature the in-ground plants. :)

Rebecca

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Seems the hangers are fighting the upside down status with a vengeance, but you are right, EP; still looking good...

HG
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elevenplants, what are you using for soil? Maybe the soil is contributing to the water retention problem if that caused the stem to rot. Vermiculite and peat moss might help if you aren't using it. They help balance moisture and oxygen retention.
If we all stop waiting, we will see something happen.

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Rebecca,

Thoroughly enjoyed your "upside down journal", thank you for sharing your experience! While I still have few overgrown seedlings left, and few kitty littler buckets, I think I would like to give this method a try too. Thanks for the inspiration!

Regards,
D

elevenplants
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@ Vette: I used Jungle Growth Water Wise. First I put in my plant, then covered it a couple inches with the dirt, then added a bit of pellitized calcium, epsom salts and bone meal (which is the mix I put in the planting hole when I put them in-ground). Then finished filling with dirt. I really think it was a drainage issue, if you could have seen the stem...it was black and already mushy. I should have put in extra drainage holes. So Duh_Vinci, keep that in mind when constructing your hangers. Good luck. You're welcome for the inspiration, glad to provide it whenever I can! :D

Rebecca

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cynthia_h wrote:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=77675

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9
Cynthia, Is that link still working for you? It shows an error when I try to open it.
If we all stop waiting, we will see something happen.

elevenplants
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Didn't work for me either.

Rebecca

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As promised, here is a pic of the in-ground Brandywine:


[img]https://i701.photobucket.com/albums/ww13/elevenpictures/photo-30.jpg[/img]


And here is one more shot of the Brandywine hanger blooms:

[img]https://i701.photobucket.com/albums/ww13/elevenpictures/photo-32.jpg[/img]

Didn't get one of the Amish Paste, I'll get that one posted tomorrow. Been a busy day! :)

Rebecca

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Hello, I'm really a novice at gardening - trying it for the first time this year. I found your discussion thread interesting because I only recently heard about the idea of growing plants upside down. After a friend told me how excited he was about the topsy turvy planter that someone gave him for Christmas, I saw them in the store and decided to give it a try. It had not occurred to me that I could grow them upside down in buckets ... I'll have to keep that in mind for future if I like the upside down method.

I tried to grow plants from seedlings, and they look like runts compared to the beautiful plants that others have posted on here. They were very small when I put them in the upside down planters last Tuesday (5/12). The area where they are hanging gets plenty of sun, but the little seedlings started to look worse by Friday. I realized that they were not getting any sun - they are just way too small and remain in the shadow of the topsy turvy.

Someone else (GRDrip) mentioned this issue with your hanging buckets, so I thought I would post about what I am trying: This past weekend, I made some sun reflectors out of aluminum foil and half of a cardboard box, and hung them below the topsy turvy, so that they bounce the light up onto the bottom. I cut a small hole in the bottom corner for the water to drain out of the reflector box.

I can't seem to get my pictures to post on my replies, but here is a link for a picture of the reflectors I made; this one has cherry tomato plants.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12308962@N07/3543734642/

I put peppers in the other topsy turvy - this photo better shows the size of the seedlings (the tomato was about the same size), and you can also see how the light is bouncing up onto the bottom of the planter:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12308962@N07/3543734968/

Maybe this idea will help someone else. I hope it works for my little plants :)

elevenplants
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That is a good idea, Dannah. My 5 gallon bucket experiment didn't work, but my 3 liter bottles are going full guns so far, there being an angled neck which allows for more sun exposure. And PS, mine were also tiny when I first put them in. They will grow larger, don't fret! :)

Rebecca

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That's strange about the broken link. I've been consolidating things to make the forums easier to navigate lately and thought I was keeping URLs the same.

I think Cynthia may have been referring to this discussion about [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=40999]Upside Down Tomatoes[/url]:

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https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7767

Let's try again... :)

Cynthia

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**UPDATE**

Here's a pic of my Brandywine hanger babies! Just found them yesterday:

[img]https://i701.photobucket.com/albums/ww13/elevenpictures/photo-39.jpg[/img]

Still no maters on the in-ground model, though she is growing and blooming very well. I have tomatoes on all my varieties except the Amish Paste and the Black Cherry.

Rebecca

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**UPDATE**

The tomatoes on the Brandywine hanger are growing like mad. I am having to water at least once a day, but so far, she looks fabulous!

[img]https://i701.photobucket.com/albums/ww13/elevenpictures/photo-45.jpg[/img]

Still no tomatoes on the in-ground model.

Scott, whatcha think???

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Well we're not giving like amounts of water at this point, right? So we' are requiring higher inputs of energy and water. Seems to me the in-ground models are getting less reward for better behavior...hmmph! (Sound of stomping around on sour grapes in background... :lol: )

I am surprised, really surprised. Maybe I shouldn't be; stressed plants often flower and fruit better (called the [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypersensitive_response]hypersensitive response or harpin response[/url] after the chemical messenger that causes it). But it ain't over yet... if it HAS gone hypersensitive, it is really cranking up it's metabolism and the reason I didn't jump on the Harpin bandwagon a few years back is I didn't see sustainable results. It was all the rage and I tried harpin on my tomatoes, with no really different results from years prior to and following. But I've seen stressed fruit trees or diseased flowering trees flower their heinies off, in fact I'm a little worried about my oldest blueberry as it is off the charts right now. But who knows? Gardening is a humbling thing; there is always something new and no matter how much you think you know, Nature will always show you new stuff. Hey, if this works I will go uside down next year, more room on the ground for squash... :)

HG
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Few shots of my try at this upside down strategy. Grew in just under a month from 8-10" (after I stripped bottom leafs and burried them deep) to these healthy looking plants.

Just hanging from the side of the back deck, getting about 9 hours of sun, starting with the very first ray in the morning:

[img]https://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i230/duhvinci/2009_garden/upside_down_project_2009_valencia_o.jpg[/img]

Orange Valencia now has few clusters of flowers:

[img]https://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i230/duhvinci/2009_garden/upside_down_valencia_orange_blooms.jpg[/img]

Plum Lemon actually has it's first tiny fruits:

[img]https://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i230/duhvinci/2009_garden/upside_dwon_pllum_lemon_heirloom_ru.jpg[/img]

Here is what I observed so far:

Virtually care free method
Soil stayed moist for long time (Compost/Vermiculite/Peat Moss/Organic Potting mixture)
Very healthy leafs (since far off the ground?)
Grow just as quick as the inground (visually, nothing scientific)

Depending on the fruit production, I will do this again next year, it's fun!

Question: What do you think about possibly adding smaller cages to the bottom of container for support against wind and maybe more "manageable" growth pattern?

Regards,
D

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Duh_Vinci, is that basil growing from the top of your planters? I like the idea of reusing space like that.

I've got the brand name Topsy Turvy planter, as a gift from Christmas this year. Thus far, I think my results may be closer to what Scott expects: I have a small plant, and the leaves are doing all right so far, but the plant has literally bent its stem 180 degrees to grow upward again. It's smooshing itself into the bottom of the planter now.

I'm hoping that as it grows, it will clear the edge of the planter and do some downward growing. If it keeps growing like this, I worry that it will snap at some point, when the weight gets high enough.

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v716/glishara/planter.jpg[/img]

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GardenerGirl, I was worried about the same thing, but once mine made it beyond the edge of the container it was fine. It still tries to grow upwards, but it's also growing in several other directions and looks quite happy.

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DV hits on a key point; keeping them off the ground eliminates the early blight issue, and a bunch of other splas-up diseases just like it. Certainly a good point... (I just do that with compost mulch, fish, milk, and calcium...)

My scepticism is lessening; but it is my inherent nature as a swamp Yankee to be mistrusting and derisive until such time as it proves out, at which time I will inform you all that I never had a doubt this was the right way to go, never had a doubt... :roll: :lol:

But I do have to admit I have seen some nice plants here; enough to probably try it out next year... but it ain't over yet...

HG
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GardenerGirl - yes, basil indeed. I figured since suggested by so many that it adds flavor to tomatoes, why not? And looks better than the black hole alone :lol:

As far as your concerns go with stem and branches not yet cleared the edge - they will, don't even worry. As Sweet T suggested, they will clear and start growing in many directions.

Good luck with you tomato, post the progress when you can!

Regards,
D

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DV, did you contact paper the sides of your containers? Nicest looking set-up I've seen to date...

Sure beats those green plastic bags... :wink:

HG
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Scott - that is exactly right, contact paper. Had some left over from the shelf lining, I think these now look a little more appealing than "Kitty Litter".

And I do prefer the sturdiness of these buckets to the green bag - by far! Plus, the large opening I made in the bottom is large enough to accept more mature plant with larger roots compare to the green bag.

You know you want to try it, don't deny - should I save you a bucket or two? :wink:

Regards,
D

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Sorry D; still maintaining my curmudgeonly demeanor on this topic out of sheer stubborness, so no experimentation until next year, I think...

But I am going for contact paper when I do...

HG
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Well what happened??? Which produced more???? I read 5 pages of a thread only to be left "hanging" (very bad pun intended) and I was sad none of the pictures can be seen anymore.....

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I am very curious as well, how did these tomatoes turn out? I had no problems with the pictures.

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:oops: The pictures not showing up was all on my phone....had I been opaying attn vs. reading I'd have noticed the HG banner wasn't showing up either....

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I agree! It seemed like you guys did a great job of keeping track of your plants, but no one posted about your end result. How was the fruit? Would you do it again?

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Here's a thread we had going about topsy -turvy tomatoes last year. https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15806&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=topsy+turvy+tomatoes&start=15

In it I asked (last fall) for an update on how it worked out. Didn't get a whole lot of response.

From what I have seen here and elsewhere (not having tried it myself), it sounds like they work best for smaller tomato varieties, determinate and dwarf, and that they need a fair amount of care and daily watering. If you are willing to do that, it sounds like they are a workable solution for people who don't have much space for growing in the ground. I haven't seen anyone say "wow I grow tomatoes in the ground and in the topsy turvy and the t-t is so much better!"

I'd still be glad to hear more of people's experiences with them.
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The lack of a joyous chorus of "told you so, HG!" leads me to believe that my Yankee streak of stubborn has stood me in good stead. I firmly stand by my position, which is if you don't have soil to grow in this would be fine, but if you have it, use it. Nature is always preferable to man made...

HG
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Oh yeah, for the update... If uside down did all that well in my yard - I would have posted some pictures :wink:
The Helpful Gardener wrote:The lack of a joyous chorus of "told you so, HG!" leads me to believe that my Yankee streak of stubborn has stood me in good stead. I firmly stand by my position, which is if you don't have soil to grow in this would be fine, but if you have it, use it. Nature is always preferable to man made...

HG
Yep, that's it! Waste of water and organic fertilizer imo... It may work for small, compact indeterminate or compact determinate varieties as RG suggested, but, in my experience - Plum Lemon (IND) and Valencia (IND), both were outperformed by the ones in the ground (the same plants, from the same seedling batch), and outperformed by far!!!

Valencia - I believe I've had maybe 5 quality fruit from the upside down plant and about half of a bushel from Valencia in the garden. Plum lemon - let's just say the garden plant ended up in my garage after the frost, with roots and all to ripen many many more golden little fruits, appose to the hanging one from the deck - that one was removed about 2 months prior to the frost, about 3 times smaller in size and same with the fruit production.

Agree with HG, in the ground they go, all of them this year! The only "hanging" tomatoes will be on my deck are the basket varieties, in the baskets, not upside down containers. Just my personal experience :lol:

Regards,
D

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Thank you for that candid and forthright assessment, DV...

This confirms what I have always said here about Nature and natural biological systems trumping man-made gizmos. I am currently marshalling all my willpower to remain adult and composed about this finding, which is likely why we had so few responses. No one is ever more aware of what a jerk you can be than your friends, right? :wink: :lol:

HG
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The Helpful Gardener wrote:...This confirms what I have always said here about Nature and natural biological systems trumping man-made gizmos...
LOL Let the truth be told, yes you did mentioned that once or twice before :lol: And you were right for not wasting your time with it! I'm very attentive to my plants and garden, maybe too attentive, but no matter what I've tried or how much care I gave to those upside-downs, results were less than desirable...

Here is the little summary - I've had few extra seedlings left over after giving away about 50-60 last year, so I thought why not to try...

In the beginning - yest, plants did grow very fast, almost faster than what's in the ground, but then - slowed down, and down the hill from there. Watering 2 times per day was a must in VA, where naturally growing plants - once every 3-4 days for the raised beds and once per week in the soil level patch.

While I mentioned that it maybe a good thing that there is no way the lower leafs to touch the ground, hence, less likely to catch the some leaf disease - the truth is, every time it rained, water from saturated soil in the bucket poor every time from the bottom hole where the main stem is growing from, and directly onto the leafs. Maybe if I used 100% soil-less media, would have been ok, but since I've used a mixture of compost and little garden soil (in hopes to introduce the good biology into the bucket), leafs often turned yellow and spotted (specially mid summer, and soon after the rain). So plenty of pruning was done!

In all honesty - I've had more fruit from a shallow 12" and 16" hanging baskets of yellow and red Tumbling Toms, besides, looked better on the deck to begin with! You live, you learn. :roll:

Regards,
D

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And with posts like that, D , lots of people learn... :D

Thanks again...

HG
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